This is one of my favorite chapters in all of Peg Bracken's little book, as she explains that there are many household chores that you really don't have to do, or chores that you don't have to do as often as the "experts" say you must. As she says, eventually these things will take care of themselves in one way or another.
So here's a few handy tips direct from Peg about what not to do in housekeeping:
- Don't wax your floors. Water splatters make dull spots on wax and they show up more.
- Don't iron pajamas, tea towels, or pillowcases. Just fold them neatly. (Note from Collette: who does this anyway?!?!)
- Don't scrub dirty cuffs and collars. Wet them, then dip them in your powdered detergent so they resemble a little child's sandy feet at the seashore, then throw them into the washer.
- Don't darn socks. Rub the sock heels with paraffin or soap after every three or four washings to preserve the heels. Otherwise, the lumps may give them blisters, and you'll spend on Band-aids what you saved on socks!
- Don't clean darkened aluminum pans you've cooked eggs in. You can do it, by putting a quart of water in the pan and adding two teaspoons of cream of tartar, then boiling it for a while. But it will swiftly darken the next time you cook an egg. Just keep a pan for egg cooking purposed discreetly in the cupboard.
- Don't polish furniture. Just give it a good coat of carnauba wax once a year and dust it occasionally thereafter, rubbing harder once in a while if there's a fingerprint. Next year, at the same time, wash off the old wax with soap and warm water and put fresh wax on.
Is there a household chore that you simply cannot stand? Peg has some advice for you:
"If there's a household job you particularly and truly loathe, don't believe the sunshine sisters who tell you you'll learn to love it if you do it their way.
I've read articles, for instance, on how to make ironing fun. You save it all up for the afternoon, they say, and you put on a Fresh House Dress. Then you open a window to catch the cool breeze, and you tune in the radio to your favorite program, and you sit on a stool behind your ironing board, and then you iron, pausing once in a while to crow with delight as you see the freshly ironed duds pile up.
But this is a lot of clam juice. You are still ironing; and if ironing makes you come all over introspective, you'd just better send your washing to the laundry. You can charge it off to Mental Health."
Until next time....